Lake Nipissing Ice Fishing

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Lake Nipissing Ice Fishing

In the recent years, Lake Nipissing has become one of the most popular ice fishing lakes in Ontario. Covering an area of over 800 sq. km, Lake Nipissing is the fifth largest lake in Ontario and has the Sturgeon River, the south river and the Wasi River draining into it. The French river which drains into Georgian Bay also keeps the water levels of Lake Nipissing stable. Despite its size, Lake Nipissing is relatively shallow, about 30 feet in most areas, making it a great attraction for ice fishermen from all over north America due to its abundance of fish life, notable the walleye, which is the most popular.

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Lake Nipissing is the center of active winter fisheries. Fishermen from both sides of the border (Canada and the United States) wait in anticipation for the ice to form and during the start of winter roads are filled with snowmobiles as people make their way to the various lodges on Lake Nipissing.

There is an abundance of fish and plant life on Lake Nipissing, mainly due to the fact that the three rivers; Sturgeon, Wasi and South bring a virtually limitless supply of fish nutrients from upstream. The lake contains large schools of different types of fish but the most popular are Walleye, Pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, muskellunge, perch, whitefish and Cisco.

The three most popular fish at Lake Nipissing are the Walleye, the Aurora Trout and the Brook Trout.

Lake Nipissing is home to over 40 species of fish. Let’s take a look at the most populous species. As e said, there are more than 40 species. Here are 9 but we will actually review 3.

  • Walleye
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Largemouth bass
  • Aurora Trout
  • Brook Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Perch
  • Musky

The Walleye is a gold-colored fresh-water fish which is almost exclusive to lakes in Canada but is also present in some water bodies in the northern parts of the United States. There is actually more than one species of the Walleye, the blue walleye and the yellow walleye. The blue walleye has since been rendered extinct by over-fishing therefore the only Walleye in existent now is the yellow species. The walleye can grow to up to 80cm in length with the largest recorded size being 107 cm depending on where it resides and the conditions prevailing in the water body. This also depends on the level of fishing. Walleyes are extremely resilient, living up to 30 years. Walleyes start reproducing at about 3-5 years and the female can lay up to half a million eggs which it immediately abandons. The eggs attach to the crevices of rocks by means of an adhesive substance and can survive temperatures of up to 6 degrees.
Because of the popularity of the Walleye, natural resource agencies in the Canadian and American governments regulate how the fish are caught and/or released.

The Aurora Trout
Another popular fish with ice fishermen is the aurora trout which is rarer than the Walleye and is also smaller. The aurora trout has no notable blemishes on its body but has an greenish dark brown complexion. The aurora trout is an ice water fish and it reaches full maturity at about 4 years, has a lifespan slightly higher than 8 years and may lay up to 8000 eggs.

Brook Trout
This is another greenish dark-brown ice water fish which records a weight of about 6 pounds when fully mature. The brook trout is known to be most populous in the summer months and this is attributed to the fact that it is carnivorous, delighting itself on the organisms that are in abundance during these warm months. The brook trout can live to be 5 years old and has been known to eat its own eggs.


A Great Winter Escape 

If you’re planning an ice fishing getaway this winter don’t forget to consider this Ontario angling heaven. While many locations offer great ice angling throughout the province Lake Nipissing and it’s surrounding lodges and ice fishing operators provide stellar service throughout the hard water season.


This article was written by the
contributing staff of OFT and its
group of amateur and pro Ontario anglers.

Copyright 2007. Ontario Fish Trips.


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